Effects of Energy Drink Functional Ingredients on Running Performance

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Philip J. Prins
Gary L. Welton
Edward J. Ryan
Catherine G. Majchrowicz
Jessica C. Althausen
Julie A. Fijal
Natalie X. Sorek
Teresa M. Dallatore
Dana L. Ault


Caffeine, Dietary supplements, Ergogenic effects


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the independent and combined effects of energy drink (ED) functional ingredients, caffeine (CAF), taurine (TAU), and glucose (GLU) on 5-km running time trial (5KTT) performance in recreational endurance runners.
Methods: Twenty recreational endurance runners (10 men, 10 women, 21.3 ± 2.2 years) participated in a double blind, placebo controlled, repeated measures study. In the first session subjects completed the 5KTT without consuming a drink (control trial - CON). Subjects were then randomly assigned to supplement with 500 ml of a commercially available ED, CAF (160 mg), TAU (2g) and GLU (54g) 60 minutes before completing a 5KTT on a treadmill; separated by seven days. Time, heart rate, RPE, and affect were recorded at 500-m intervals during the time trial (TT). Session RPE and session Affect were obtained post TT.
Results: TT performance did not differ across conditions (CON: 1420 ± 161.4 s; ED: 1409.3 ± 153.1 s; CAF: 1414.9 ± 163.2 s; TAU: 1427.7 ± 178.8 s; GLU: 1416.2 ± 167.7; p = .80). HR and RPE increased wile affect decreased during the TT, irrespective of the substance ingested (all p > 0.05). Session RPE was significantly higher in the ED trial (8.1 ± 1.1) compared to GLU (7.7 ± 1.2), TAU (7.5 ± 1.3) and CON (7.5 ± 1.3) but not CAF (7.8 ± 1.3) (p = 0.025).
Conclusions: The present data does not unequivocally support an ergogenic potential of a popular ED above that of CAF, TAU, and GLU, if consumed sixty minutes before exercise in men and women recreational distance runners.

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